THE BIG PICTURE
THE THIRD FORCE
Here’s an alternative to an alternative albeit one that smacks of idealism!
Rarely if ever have we run an opinion piece that alludes to the likes of the Janathā Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) being anything but a horror story from a violent past. But times have changed and the state of the nation it seems is in dire straits with few options left for the polity, as Wijith DeChickera surmises.
So turn this page over for what may come as a surprise to regular readers of LMD. Our former editorial colleague wonders whether the time has come for a ‘third force,’ and it is in this context that he says he’s keeping an eye on the JVP.
One may care to also look further afield – to across many seas and the European continent, where the French people rallied behind a young political novice who promised to root out corruption if they were to elect him as their president.
Formerly a senior civil servant and investment banker, Emmanuel Macron swept to victory in a virtual landslide that installed him as the youngest French president in history. And since his newly formed party En Marche wasn’t represented in the legislature at the time, Macron was put to the test soon after his election in his bid to form a majority government – which En Marche did with relative ease.
Unlike the other political outsider who also came from nowhere to win the highest presidential seat on Earth – and has reminded us that radical political make overs can backfire when they’re tainted by extremism – President Macron’s formula was a breath of fresh air because he pledged to refrain from appointing anyone who has even remotely been associated with corrupt activities to his cabinet.
What’s more, should anyone suddenly be found out, or accused of being or having been corrupt, he or she would have to resign from office until his or her name is cleared. Since his cabinet was sworn in back in May, Macron’s Ministers of Defence, Justice and Europe Affairs have resigned under the weight of party related corruption and sleaze allegations.
The process of restoring the credibility of the political class in the eyes of the French people has begun and it is a model for a world that’s been peppered by corruption.
In the case of Sri Lanka, promises of good governance have been broken because the game of musical chairs has to be played for any government to remain in power.
So we end up with many of the same rogues telling us that the regime they were part of for a decade in their last term in office was corrupt and that they’re now in bed with the ‘yahapalanaya government,’ which must mean that they were either a part of that dirty baggage or turned a blind eye to what was going on at the time!
What’s more, they and many others who were previously crying foul about corruption in government from the opposition benches are also helping themselves to the ‘perks’ that come with being a politician in this country.
Indeed, there are exceptions to every rule. And one hopes that from the slim minority of clean politicians or no-nonsense visionaries from outside the house, there will come a knight in shining armour whom we can call ‘Honourable Sir’ – and mean it!
Sri Lanka desperately needs a Macron, failing which a reincarnated Lee Kuan Yew will do the job. He will kick democracy as we know it out of the window in the process because it’s apparent that the voting public has misused its democratic franchise.